Monday, November 20, 2017

Daily Agenda: Monday, November 20

Drop everything and read the choice book as Ms. Hodgens checks in on your reading progress and collects the book review rubrics for parent-teacher conferences.

Introduce the Thanksgiving Thank You Note.

Brainstorm nursery school/daycare through middle school teachers who have had an influence on you, with specific images and memories on the timeline or brainstorming approach you use.

We will be drafting, revising, and sending thank you notes to teachers tomorrow. Specific details on the assignment are here and will be reviewed tomorrow before you are given a piece of stationary.

HW Eng: Brainstorm nursery school/daycare through middle school teachers who have had an influence on you, with specific images and memories on the timeline or brainstorming approach you use.  This is a 5 point assignment. 

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Daily Agenda: Friday, November 17

Book Club Day.

  1. Drop everything and read.
  2. Write a silent response mural of thoughts with your book club on a piece of white computer paper.
  • Start with your name and the page number you’re on.
  • Give impressions, reactions, and opinions to your book.
  • The goal is to fill the page by etching your thoughts together.
3. Create a reading assignment as a group, for this weekend.

HW Eng: Read the pages your book club assigned today and bring choice book to class on Monday.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Daily Agenda: Thursday, November 16

  • Bingo board - teach your classmates about your deep reading and research on The Boys Who Challenged Hitler.
  • Kahoot on word roots in, sub, pro, ob, con/com, ob, ex, im and related new vocabulary words: obsequious, insidious, subversive, infamy, propaganda, infallible, and imperious.
  • Upload your reading + research doc to Google classroom.
  • Talk with your book club to create a reading assignment for tonight.
  • Long Block: Revise six sentences due on Tuesday using new vocabulary and send Ms. H. an e-mail by the end of the period for a rescore.

HW Eng: Read the pages your book club was assigned + bring choice book to class tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Daily Agenda: Wednesday, November 15

Wednesday 11/15

Today, you are going to become the authority on your allusion or reference in The Boys Who Challenged Hitler.

  • Take time to make a list of where you found the allusion or important reference/concept as you read; read a website or two.
  • Learn new vocab: implicit+explicit
  • EX - often means out or more.  Examples of EX words include extravagant, extreme, exciting, example, exit, external, exude, exile, and extinct.  
  • IM - often means in or less.  Examples of IM words include impress, implode, imply, imperious, important.  
  • Explicit meaning: Something that is stated “right there” in a text.  An explicit example of bicycles meaning freedom is when the boys cut down German telephone lines by bike in Chapter Two.
  • Implicit meaning: Something that is hidden but related and implied by a pattern.  An implicit instance of bicycles mean freedom is when Hoose writes about Edvard Pedersen pinning a swastika to his car.  The car, the tank, and the truck are metaphors for oppression, but the bike represents fighting for freedom.  Finding implicit meaning is a huge part of becoming a deeper reader.
  • With a partner, help each other find authoritative implicit + explicit examples in chapters 1-4.

Use this template to write up your reading notes:
Create a google doc in the folder called The Boys Who Challenged Hitler.  The title of your google doc is your allusion or reference.  

Website notes: In complete sentences, write about what you learned.  Give the source(s).

(Put the page number of an example/examples from Chapter 1 here) Write the example in complete sentences.  State whether the example is explicit or implicit.

(Put the page number of an example/examples from Chapter 2 here) Write the example in complete sentences.  State whether the example is explicit or implicit.

(Put the page number of an example/examples from Chapter 3 here) Write the example in complete sentences.  State whether the example is explicit or implicit.

(Put the page number of an example/examples from Chapter 4 here) Write the example in complete sentences.  State whether the example is explicit or implicit.

HW Eng: Write up your reading notes on your allusion or reference to an important aspect of the book using the template explained in class and found on the blog.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Daily Agenda: Tuesday, November 14

Vocabulary Development
  • Review and add words to the IN tree
  • Kahoot on OB, PRO, IN, COM/CON, and SUB
  • Check and give feedback on vocabulary either in person or online; you should check out your grade on PowerSchool.
  • Begin this activity in closer reading today, finish tomorrow

HW Eng: Read Chapters 3 ("The Churchill Club") and 4 ("Learning to Breathe") in The Boys Who Challenged Hitler.  These chapters are on pages 25-43.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Daily Agenda: Monday, November 13

Do Now: In the first five minutes of class, you are expected to complete the following writing and reading:
  1. Go to the choice reading folder and title a new doc “quarter 2 book questions”
  2. Walk the gallery of genre posters and literary questions we created last quarter
  3. In that document titled “quarter 2 book questions” write three or more questions you would like to ask your partner or group members about your quarter 2 choice book, which you started reading on thursday.  You may use some of the questions from the posters or you may create your own questions that relate well to your book.
  4. Show Ms. Hodgens your questions for credit and feedback. Some exemplar questions on The Book Thief are here.

Participate in the first book club and score yourself out of 3 points for on task participation as you answer the questions you and your group members created. See pictures from our end-of-quarter-one-day celebration of reading. Some books getting especially high reviews already are Masterminds, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, and Chains.

Create, brainstorm, and learn about IN words as we create a vocabulary tree. Star the following six words, which give more insight as we read The Boys Who Challenged Hitler: intervene, incense, innocuous, indifferent, integrity, and indubitably. The definitions on a sample vocabulary tree are here.

HW Eng:
1) Create a folder called "The Boys Who Challenged Hitler" and a document within that folder called "Vocab 1." You can make a copy of this document here.

2) Review and read 1-23 of The Boys Who Challenged Hitler and write an accurate sentence about events on 1-23 using six chosen IN words (intervene, incense, innocuous, indifferent, integrity, and indubitably).  Sentences should be written alone.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Daily Agenda: Wednesday, November 8 and Thursday, November 9

Welcome to quarter two and two new books ~

  1. The Boys Who Challenged Hitler
    1. Begin reading this new whole class book as you check out a copy, review your debate prep materials with Ms. Hodgens, and return quarter one choice books.
  2. Your new choice book  - our approach will be book groups.
    1. Begin looking at book choices, with the list of our quarter two options.  If you are interested in reading a book that is off the list, please ask Ms. Hodgens about it.
    2. Read up on the books that interest you at the Harvard Public Library website.
    3. Start making a list of the five books that interest you the most, and talk with potential book club friends.
    4. The book groups will be 2-4 people in a section.
  3. Return choice book reviews from your quarter one choice book tomorrow.  Save this rubric in your binder.

Announcement about Returning Quarter One Choice Books~
  1. Tomorrow, please bring any choice books you have finished back to class.  
  2. These books include titles from the classroom, Bromfield, and Harvard Public libraries.
  3. If you checked out a number of HPL books and are making your way through them, which I know many people did, please see a librarian tomorrow to renew them.   G and A period students, if you would like to renew a book, please see me tomorrow in the classroom, and I will help you renew online.  

HW Eng: 1. Think about the book you and your group want to read, and finish writing your list of the five books that interest you most, using the list and HPL website, linked on the blog.  
2. Please bring any choice books you have finished, from the classroom, Bromfield, or Harvard Public libraries.

3. Read and review the choice book review you received back today on your second major review of the year, and, as noted above, make sure to save it in your binder.  

Go to the Harvard Public Library to check out new books with your book club and begin reading.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Daily Agenda: Thursday, November 2 and Friday, November 3

Friday: Debate Day.

HW Eng: Bring all of your debate prep materials to pass in on Monday with the grid of 10 points.

Thursday: Prepare for tomorrow’s debate

  • Choose how to help and lead as your team prepares for the debate
  • You will earn an excellent preparation grade on the debate rubric by preparing productively all throughout class today, with the writing + reading + speaking activities on the back board, found here.
  • By the end of class, you will have completed many of the activities you chose and will finish them up for HW, with a total of 10 or more points achieved.
  • Most importantly, by the end of class today, each team will be ready to start the debate at the beginning of class tomorrow.

HW Eng: Today is debate prep, and tomorrow is the debate.  By the end of class, you will have completed many of the activities you chose and will finish them up for HW, with a total of 10 or more points achieved.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Daily Agenda: Tuesday, October 31 and Wednesday, November 1

Halloween Choices Day Activity is here

Do Now:
Start a new folder in English called debate.  Over the next three days, we will be preparing and participating in a debate on cell phones.

For now, please start a document with your table partner in Debate called Cell Phone Observations. Together, please write 8-10 observations written in complete sentences about the way people use cell phones and related technology in public.

Please come over to me and show me your work; I will return your self-graded rubric from our first incredible debate, on Kino.

The agenda is to prepare for cell phones in public debate
  • Introduce the debate resolution: Should looking at your cell phone while crossing the street be illegal? Or should the government combat distracted walking and protect pedestrians through other means?
  • Return self-graded rubrics, which were entered on PowerSchool. We will use the same rubric again this time around, and I will grade you.
  • Read a New York Times article in tandem with the debate resolution
  • Discuss with your group or table partner, as you start a google doc for your side in the debate.
  • Determine research focus for your paragraph writing tonight.

HW Eng: Write a paragraph or more on your groups google doc on a particular focus area or aspect of your argument.  This is preparation for the debate, and additional research or appeals from experience are really persuasive.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Daily Agenda: Friday, October 27

After some team-building with anonymous compliments, we finished peer review, and all students had their current draft assessed for progress. 

A graphic organizer for writing your draft is here.

The challenge activity is here.

HW Eng: Finish drafting your choice book review so that you have an introduction, summary, theme and character decision paragraphs, and a conclusion.  On Monday and the beginning of Tuesday, you'll revise your draft to become the final.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Daily Agendas: Wednesday, October 25 and Thursday, October 26


Today we practiced some team-building skills with a class-wide Bingo opener.

All year, we will be practicing how to recognize the fifteen literary devices as a way of achieving deeper reading and writing.  Working with a partner, students quizzed one another on the literary devices and then we played a Kahoot on them.  Advanced book reviews for quarter one will incorporate one or two of these devices, in addition to analyzing theme and character decisions.

Finally, we had a second lesson on theme.  The main idea of the lesson is that a theme is always written in a complete sentence - it is not a word.

This sentence is not a theme: Loneliness is a theme in the novel.
This sentence is a theme: Loneliness can tend to show itself when you are with other people.

This sentence is not a theme: Perceptions are a theme in the novel.
This sentence is a theme: Perceptions are not always what you at first perceive them to be.

This sentence is not a theme: Perceptions are a theme in the story.
This sentence is a theme: If it looks like people have changed, sometimes it is really our perception of them that has changed.

A theme is an interpretation rather than a fact - it is an insight which makes the reader curious.  A theme might make the reader as "why" or "how."  And finally, novels have many themes, which is why it is important to use the process on How to Write a Thematic Essay, the coral sheet, which we reviewed, to brainstorm and free-write many themes - not only one.  We thought through how themes can be deepened with Prompts to Push Writers to Speculate Further about Themes (the yellow sheet).

HW Eng: by the time you come to class tomorrow, you will need to have settled on two possible themes for incorporating into your essay.  In class tomorrow you will choose the theme you like the best.  Tonight write long in your rough draft for 30 minutes about a second (or 3rd, or 4th, or 5th) theme, using the coral and yellow sheets from class.


Today was a peer review day.  First, we looked at reasonable best effort by looking at the basics: formatting (see below), requirements for the introduction, body, and conclusion, and having three quotes. 

We took a look at how to create a great title (see below).  And then we moved into a more elaborate peer review with an assigned parter.

For students looking for a challenge activity if you have already finished your draft or want to improve your style: try the style analysis activity below.

Correct Essay Formatting
How to Create a Great Title: Twenty Titles **see page 2**
Challenge Activity: Style Analysis

HW Eng: If you have not finished your book reivew draft, continue writing it for 30 minutes tonight.  Tomorrow we will continue and finish up peer review and prepare for the final, which is in class Monday and for the first fifteen minutes of class on Tuesday. Please take two minutes to review & use the 1) correct paper format and 2) Twenty Titles above.  Finally, if you want to bring your essay to the next level with a style challenge, see above.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Daily Agenda: Tuesday, October 24

Silent start - class today is dedicated to writing the rough draft of the quarter 1 choice book review. Time to ask Ms. Hodgens questions as you write.

Please take a moment to go to the English folder for some organizing.

  • Create a new folder within English called Choice Reading.  If you have already done this, keep that one.

  • Title your rough draft “Quarter 1 Book Review Last Name”

  • Move the rough draft to the Choice Reading folder you created a moment ago.

  • Move any documents related to your choice reading to this folder (i.e. rough drafts, theme writing from the weekend, outlines, etc.)  

  • If you did the theme writing from the weekend by hand, please get it out and put it on your desk; I am going to come around and read the theme writes quickly.  I will highlight a favorite idea or three, for you to consider incorporating into your book review.

HW Eng: Your homework tonight is to continue writing your rough draft for 30 minutes.  Please also bring in your character decision chart to class tomorrow.  If you have not yet completed the theme writing or character decision chart, please finish them up tonight.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Daily Agenda: Monday, October 23

Do Now: on 3 hole paper write a complete sentence rating your quarter 1 choice book, and bring it over to Ms. Hodgens’ desk.  A 1 is “really didn’t enjoy it” and a 10 is “a perfect book”.  Remember to include the author and title, and put your name on the bottom.

Today’s guided lesson: Create a plan for tomorrow’s in class essay.
  • What is your opinion of your book?
  • Make a simple pie chart.
  • What ‘percentage’ of your opinion of your book is based on theme and character decisions? And what percentage is based on other literary areas?
  • Read through the rubric and a book review model on Mark of the Thief.

HW Eng: Pull together the google docs + hard copy docs you will use to write tomorrow’s draft essay, think about and plan a basic outline.  You may use your character decision graph, theme writing due today (which I will check tomorrow as you write), your choice book, favorite summary from The Pearl, and other helpful handouts (i.e. on intros and conclusions).  You may use your outline and any writing you’ve done.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Daily Agenda: Friday, October 20

Do Now: On 3 hole notebook paper, write a complete sentence on any topic, and bring it over to my desk.  Label the subject and the predicate. Extension: find examples of compound and complex sentences.

Today’s lesson: All narrative texts have themes within them, and when literary critics start to look for those themes, they ask questions like, “what is this text really about?” or “what is this text trying to teach me about life?”  Then, they sometimes write long to grow their ideas.

Next Tuesday 10/24: In class essay draft
Monday 10/30: In class essay final

What makes a sentence?

  1. Words that form a complete thought
  2. Punc @ the end ( . / ? / ! / ; / , if connecting two sentences in a compound sentence)
  3. Start with a capital
  4. Has a subject - person or thing doing an action
  5. Has a verb - the action - the predicate is the verb and everything after it.

Watch 4 Year Old’s Bucket List: Water is Life.

What do you think the artists who created the commercial are trying to say?
  • Theme: Problems are severe in some places, and it can feel hard to figure out how to solve them.
  • Theme: Be thankful for what we have.
  • Theme: Hope and determination go together as we know we can change the world.
  • Theme: Live life to the fullest and have no regrets!
  • WOW!  You have come up with some interesting themes!  REMEMBER, all narrative texts have themes within them...many themes.

What’s on your bucket list?  Share with the class.  

Collect ideas about themes in a text.
Name a central problem or issue that characters in the story face.
The Pearl: greed, injustice, racism, poverty, discrimination, abuse…

Reflect on parts of the story that pertain to this problem.
We focused on greed. Problems include how the doctor’s greed causes him to make the baby sick; the pearl buyers collude to scam Kino; Kino abuses Juana when she insists on getting rid of the pearl; the assassins are hired by a greedy person; Kino attacks the assassins and Coyotito is killed.

Think to yourself, “What is the story teaching me about this problem, this issue?”
The Pearl: Greed is almost as bad as a crime.

Write long about your thinking to grow your ideas, perhaps by asking how different characters relate to that issue.  
Beginning of a long write on the theme of greed: In life, greed is almost as bad as a crime.  One theory on why things fall apart in The Pearl is that mother nature has a cruel hand and causes bad luck: a scorpion wanders into the brush hut and bites the baby.  A pearl, called an “accident,” gives Kino much more than he can handle, and mother nature burdens him with ill fortune.  The desert even catches Kino’s family in its parched trap.  On the other hand, perhaps greed is like a man-made disease, a “monstrosity” engineered out of the Frankenstein-like lab of twisted ambitions.  Steinbeck shows us that greed, like a man-made strain of the pneumonia, can become so potent that it overtakes a person’s being and makes criminal behavior suddenly so rampant.  Kino seems like such a simple, loving husband, but when greed infects his being, he becomes a criminal.  The greed is the first crime, and the violence, death, and loss that comes next is the result...

Use this model to complete a couple of theme long writes this weekend.

Further handouts:

HW: For 30 minutes, write one and half or two pages in your notebook.  

  • You could write another theme entry or two, or you could dig deeper into the theme entry you already wrote (if you started one for homework in your one-on-one assignment we developed on Thursday night).  
  • Use the yellow-lined paper handed out in class, along with other pieces of notebook paper, or start a google doc.  
  • Writing about themes will help you with building up your in-class book review.